Love Story Fremantle




MORQ's refurbishment of a small non-descript commercial space into a bespoke clothing shop. The work is modest, but its brief is ambitious: the owner was trying to gain access to an exclusive European label, which selects its international resellers based on the quality and uniqueness of their retail spaces. To meet the clients’ aspirations, the new space needed to convey a sense of unique identity, display craftsmanship, and create a quality of space comparable to the best international clothing boutiques. We found the existing envelope of the space to be of average nature, and the interior to have no quality as a result. In response to such existing conditions, the project needed to generate an overarching radical transformation of the inner space, materiality, and light-condition, as opposed to a more traditional refurbishment approach. The proposal is that of an ‘inner skin’ enveloping the interior space, a plywood cocoon, informed by the grain and texture of timber, and by its ability to soften the natural light filtering through from the front window. To enhance the visual and tactile qualities of the traditionally economical plywood, the internal sheeting was lightened with a whitewash, and finished with burnt amber-wax. The palette of materials also includes waxed mill-finished stainless steel for all exposed metalwork and resinous cement finish to all floors and stair. While small in size, this project embodies the challenges of an articulated interior project and offers an engaging public experience of how a refurbishment can generate a place with its own cohesive identity, immersive atmosphere, and a subtle sense of belonging.